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Christopher Gilbert
Position: Professor
Campus Affiliation: Hunter College
Degrees/Diplomas: PhD, Stony Brook, 2008
Research Interests: Neogene primate evolution, biochronology, and biogeography in Africa and Asia; evolutionary history and phylogenetic systematics of catarrhines; biogeography and biochronology of Plio-Pleistocene cercopithecoids and its relationship to hominin evolution; Paleocene-Eocene primate and mammalian ecomorphology, diversity, biogeography, and evolution; Character coding methodology in phylogenetic analysis, comparison of cladistic and morphometric methods in phylogenetic analysis, phylogenetic analysis
Subfield: Physical Anthropology
Chris Gilbert is Professor of Biological Anthropology at Hunter College and the Ph.D Program in Anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, along with being a member of NYCEP and Research Associate in the Division of Paleontology at the American Museum of Natural History.

His dissertation research focused on African papionin phylogeny and biogeography during the Plio-Pleistocene and its relationship to hominin biogeography during this time period. With generous funding from the Wenner-Gren foundation, he continues to work on the evolutionary history of these monkeys (and cercopithecoids more broadly), and along with Steve Frost (University of Oregon), he is editing a volume on African Plio-Pleistocene cercopithecoid evolution and its relationship to hominin biochronology.

More broadly, he is interested in primate evolution during the past 65 million years with research projects spanning from the Eocene to the present. Since 2010, he has conducted paleontological fieldwork in the Neogene deposits of the Siwalik Hills, India, along with his colleagues Biren Patel (University of Southern California), Rajeev Patnaik (Panjab University), and Chris Campisano (Arizona State University). This project has resulted in the discovery of two newly recognized fossil primate taxa (a sivaladapid and an ape), and is currently funded by the National Science Foundation. In collaboration with Ross Secord (University of Nebraska) and Stephen Chester (Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY), Gilbert has also been working on early primate evolution and its response to the Early Eocene Climatic Optimum in the Wind River Basin, Wyoming.

Finally, Gilbert is also involved in ongoing research on other aspects of primate anatomy and evolution, including guenon systematics and phylogeny, hominoid/early catarrhine evolution in the African Miocene, and primate cranial diversity.

Selected Publications:

Peer-Reviewed Journal Articles (* indicates student author at the time of submission)

Gilbert CC, Ortiz A., Patel BA, Singh NP, Campisano CJ, Fleagle JG, *Pugh KD, and Patnaik R. (2020). New Middle Miocene ape (Primates: Hylobatidae) from Ramnagar, India fills major gaps in the hominoid fossil record. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 287: 20201655.

*Arenson JL, Sargis EJ, Hart JA, Hart TB, Detwiler KM, and Gilbert CC. (2020). Skeletal morphology of the lesula (Cercopithecus lomamiensis) and the evolution of guenon locomotor behavior. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.

Gilbert CC, Sehgal RK, *Pugh KD, Campisano CJ, Singh NP, *May E, Patel BA, Patnaik R. (2019). New Sivapithecus specimen from Ramnagar (J & K), India and a taxonomic revision of Ramnagar hominoids. Journal of Human Evolution 135: 102665. (

*Pugh KD and Gilbert CC. (2018). Phylogenetic relationships of living and fossil African papionins: combined evidence from morphology and molecules. Journal of Human Evolution 123: 35-51.

Gilbert CC, Frost SR, *Pugh KD, *Anderson M, and Delson E (2018). Evolution of the modern baboon (Papio hamadryas): A reassessment of the African Plio-Pleistocene record. Journal of Human Evolution 122: 38-69.

*Fuchs AJ, Gilbert CC, and Kamilar JM. (2018). Ecological niche modeling of the genus Papio. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 166: 812-823.

*Singh NP, Gilbert CC, Patel BA, and Patnaik R. (2018). The taphonomy, palaeoecology and biochronology of the Middle Miocene hominoid locality of Ramnagar (Jammu and Kashmir, India). Journal of Asian Earth Sciences 162: 69-83.

Nengo I, Tafforeau P, Gilbert CC, Fleagle JG, Miller E, Feibel C, Fox D, Feinberg J, *Pugh KD, Berruyer C, Engle Z, and Spoor F. (2017). New infant cranium from the African Miocene sheds light on ape evolution. Nature 548: 169-174.

Gilbert CC and Jungers WL. (2017). Comment on relative brain size in early primates and the use of encephalization quotients in primate evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 109: 79-87.

Gilbert CC, Patel BA, *Singh NP, Campisano CJ, Fleagle JG, *Rust KL, and Patnaik R. (2017). New sivaladapid primate from Lower Siwalik deposits surrounding Ramnagar, Jammu and Kashmir State, India. Journal of Human Evolution 102: 21-41.

Singleton M, Gilbert CC, Frost SR, and Seitelman, BC. (2016). Comparative morphometric analysis of a juvenile papionin (Primates: Cercopithecidae) from Kromdraai A. Annals of the Ditsong Museum of Natural History 6: 1-17.

Boyer DM, Kirk EC, Silcox MT, Gunnell GF, Gilbert CC, Yapuncich GS, Allen KL, Welch E, Bloch JI, Gonzalez L, Kay RF, and Seiffert ER. (2016). Internal carotid arterial canal size and scaling in Euarchonta: re-assessing implications for arterial patency and phylogenetic relationships in early fossil primates. Journal of Human Evolution 97: 123-144.

Fleagle JG, Gilbert CC, and Baden AL. (2016). Comparing primate crania: the importance of fossils. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 161: 259-275.

Gilbert CC, Frost SR, and Delson E. (2016a). Reassessment of the Olduvai Bed I cercopithecoids: a new biochronological and biogeographical link to the South African fossil record. Journal of Human Evolution 92: 50-59.

Gilbert CC, *Takahashi MQ, and Delson E. (2016b). Cercopithecoid humeri from Taung support the distinction of major papionin clades in the South African fossil record. Journal of Human Evolution 90: 88-104.

Gilbert CC, Steininger CM, Kibii JM, and Berger LR. (2015). Papio cranium from the hominin-bearing site of Malapa: implications for the evolution of modern baboon cranial morphology and South African Plio-Pleistocene biochronology. PLoS ONE 10(8), e0133361. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133361

DeVreese L and Gilbert CC. (2015). Phylogenetic relationships within the Cercocebus-Mandrillus clade as indicated by craniodental morphology: implications for evolutionary biogeography. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 158: 227-241.

Frost SR, Gilbert CC, *Pugh KD, Guthrie E, and Delson E. (2015). The hand of Cercopithecoides williamsi (Mammalia, Primates): Earliest fossil evidence for pollical reduction among colobine monkeys and its implications for their evolution. PLoS ONE 10(5): e0125030. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0125030

Gilbert CC and Maiolino S. (2015). Comment to “Primates in the Eocene” by Gingerich (2012). Palaeobiodiversity and Palaeoenvironments 95: 237-241.

Porter LM, Gilbert CC, and Fleagle JG. (2014). Diet and phylogeny in primate communities. International Journal of Primatology 35: 1144-1163.

Gilbert CC, Bibi F, Hill A, and Beech M. (2014). An early guenon from the late Miocene Baynunah Formation, Abu Dhabi, with implications for cercopithecoid biogeography and evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111: 10119-10124.

Gilbert CC, Patel BA, *Friedman AC, *Pugh KD, Fleagle JG, and Patnaik R. (2014). New Lower Siwalik localities near Ramnagar, India: implications for the earliest Asian great apes and other mammalian lineages. Special Publication of the Palaeontological Society of India 5: 353-365.

Rothman JM, Raubenheimer D, *Bryer MAH, *Takahashi M, and Gilbert CC. (2014). Nutritional contributions of insects to primate diets: implications for primate evolution. Journal of Human Evolution 71: 59-69.

Roberts P, Delson E, Miracle P, Ditchfield P, Roberts RG, Jacobs Z, Blinkhorn J, Ciochon RL, Fleagle JG, Frost SR, Gilbert CC, Gunnell GF, Harrison T, Korisettar R, and Petraglia MD. (2014). Continuity of Mammalian Fauna Over the Last 200,000 Years in the Indian Subcontinent. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111: 5848-5853.

Rossie JB, Gilbert CC, and Hill A. (2013). Early cercopithecid monkeys from the Tugen Hills, Kenya. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 110: 5818-5822.

Gilbert CC. (2013). Cladistic analysis of extant and fossil African papionins using craniodental data. Journal of Human Evolution 64: 399-433.

Hart JA, Detwiler KM, Gilbert CC, Burrell AS, Fuller JL, Emetshu M, Hart TB, Vosper A, Sargis EJ, and Tosi AJ. (2012). Lesula: A New Species of Cercopithecus Monkey Endemic to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Implications for Conservation of Congo’s Central Basin. PLoS ONE 7(9): e44271. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0044271

Maiolino S, Boyer DM, Bloch JI, Gilbert CC, and Groenke J. (2012). Evidence for a Grooming Claw in a North American Adapiform Primate: Implications for Anthropoid Origins. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29135. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029135

Gilbert CC, Goble ED, Kingston JD, and Hill A. (2011). Partial Skeleton of Theropithecus brumpti (Primates: Cercopithecidae) from the Chemeron Formation of the Tugen Hills, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 61: 347-362.

Gilbert CC, Stanley WT, Olson LE, Davenport TRB, and Sargis EJ. (2011). Morphological systematics of the kipunji (Rungwecebus kipunji) and the ontogenetic development of phylogenetically informative characters in the Papionini. Journal of Human Evolution 60: 731-745.

Gilbert CC. (2011). Phylogenetic analysis of the African papionin basicranium using 3-D geometric morphometrics: the need for improved methods to account for allometric effects. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 144: 60-71.

Gilbert CC, Goble ED, and Hill A. (2010). Miocene Cercopithecoidea from the Tugen Hills, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution 59: 465-483.

Fleagle JG, Gilbert CC, and Baden AL. (2010). Primate cranial diversity. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 142: 565-578.

Gilbert CC and Grine FE. (2010). Morphometric variation in the papionin muzzle and the biochronology of the South African Plio-Pleistocene karst cave deposits. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 141: 418-429.

Gilbert CC, Frost SR, and Strait DS. (2009). Allometry, sexual dimorphism, and phylogeny: a cladistic analysis of extant African papionins using craniodental data. Journal of Human Evolution 57: 298-320.

Gilbert CC, McGraw WS, and Delson E. (2009). Plio-Pleistocene eagle predation on fossil cercopithecids from the Humpata Plateau, southern Angola. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 139: 421-429.

Gilbert CC. (2007). Identification and description of the first Theropithecus (Primates: Cercopithecidae) material from Bolt's Farm, South Africa. Annals of the Transvaal Museum 44: 1-10.

Olejniczak AJ, Gilbert CC, Martin LB, Smith TM, Ulhaas L, and Grine, F. (2007). Maxillary molar enamel-dentine junction morphology in anthropoid primates. Journal of Human Evolution 53: 292-301.

Gilbert CC and Rossie JB. (2007). Congruence of molecules and morphology using a narrow allometric approach. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 104: 11910-11914.

Gilbert CC. (2007). Craniomandibular morphology supporting the diphyletic origin of mangabeys and a new genus of the Cercocebus/Mandrillus clade, Procercocebus. Journal of Human Evolution 53: 69-102.

Patel BA, Gilbert CC, and Ericson KE. (2007). Cercopithecoid cervical vertebral morphology and implications for the presence of Theropithecus in early Pleistocene Europe. Journal of Human Evolution 52: 113-129.

Gilbert CC. (2005). Dietary ecospace and the diversity of euprimates during the Early and Middle Eocene. American Journal of Physical Anthropology 126: 237-249.